Sayonara Charlotte-Hello Houston

Okay, I understand that there are some serious gaps in the narrative here. As in, where the hell have you been for the last couple weeks, Maria? I get that. And once things slow down, I will do my best to fill in the potholes of this story. 

For now, I’m going to say I miss my McColl peps very much.

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte-Hello HoustonBut it is time to say Sayonara Charlotte.

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte-Hello Houstonand Hello Houston.

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte-Hello HoustonYep. I’m at the International Quilt Festival here in Houston, Texas. I am staying at the lovely downtown Hilton Americas-Houston. Any of you who have stayed at a hosting hotel during a conference/convention know you are paying for the convenience of being centrally located. This is nice, but internet is REALLY nice too. And for some greedy reason these posh conference hotels are stingy with their computer connections. It’s really not nice.

When I got here on Tuesday afternoon, I tried to take shower. There was no hot water. A very nice handy man spent about an hour fixing things up. In the end, he apologized and offered me a complementary coffee. I said, what I really want is internet. He said, I can give you lunch. And I said, well, okay.

And that is what I am doing right now. Enjoying my complementary lunch while poaching lobby internet.

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte - Hello HoustonYesterday, I went with the lovely Ms. Heather Pregger and company to the visit the Rothko Chapel, the Menil Collection, and Cy Twombly Gallery. They are all located with walking distance of each other. No photos were allowed, but here is the evidence that I was nearby.

The Menil Collection is showing a wonderful exhibit called Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence. 

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte - Hello HoustonIn the east gallery, there is an exhibit called Experiments with Truth. One of the most interesting pieces in the exhibit was a video installation by South Korean-born, New York based Kimsooja called A Needle Woman.

The video installation created in 2005, places Kimsooja on six different busy streets from around the world. She films herself in each of these locations standing still while individuals from each city walk past her. The cities she films are Patan, Nepal; Havana; Rio de Janeiro; N’Djamena, Chad; Sana’a, Yemen; and Jerusalem, Israel.

She selected these cities because they are “cities in conflict, ones experiencing poverty, violence, post-colonialism, civil wars, and religious conflicts”.

As a viewer, you initially think each screen holds the same information, but as you continue to watch, you realize that Kimsooja is the only constant in the films. Each culture responds differently to her presence. It is mesmerizing.

I was especially aware of how American culture seems to have permeated all other cultures–there were flashes of our clothing, our advertising, and our behavior on all six of the screens. 

It was a great way to spend the day.

The evening was a different VERY American cultural experience.

Here is a view of the vendors setting up on Tuesday night for the opening of the quilt shows and the shopping.

Maria Shell Sayonara Charlotte - Hello HoustonAnd here is a view on Wednesday evening of the quilters gathered to descend–a swarm of shopping bags–on those venders.

After four hours, my legs gave out–I should not have worn such fashionable shoes–and I retreated to my hotel room for some rest. But first a glimpse at the amazing collection of red and white quilts that are on display this year in honor the Festival’s 40th anniversary. 

IQA 40th AnniversaryOkay. I am feeling pretty good about this lobby internet scene. I’m going to try and post daily while I’m hear. Can I do it? Who the hells knows. But I will try dear readers. I will try.

This entry was published on October 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM. It’s filed under Just Plain Stories, News And Events, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Sayonara Charlotte-Hello Houston

  1. I think the Hilton figures if you can afford the overpriced room, you won’t mind paying for wi-fi. I do remember that the breakfast buffet was excellant. I thought there was free wi-fi in the public areas of the convention center….might be wrong. I enjoyed all my classes there last year and meeting you in person. Can’t make it this year. Have fun with the quilt viewing…while all those crazy shoppers are out of your way!! Comfy shoes tomorrow!

    • Mary- I hope you get a chance to come in 2015. I know the Hilton offers wifi in the public areas–I need to just get used to working in a crowd I guess. Thank you for stopping by!

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